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Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York
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Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  330 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
The handsome Texas sailor who offers dinner to a runaway in Central Park. The Midwestern college girl who stops a cop in Times Square for restaurant advice. The Brooklyn man on a midnight subway who helps a weary tourist find her way to Chinatown. The Columbia University graduate student who encounters an unexpected object of beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A pub ...more
Audio CD, 9 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published December 13th 2010)
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Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Quite adorable stories written in an engaging style. Sabar explores the provocative premise that being stimulated by an environment can cause people to fall in love. Or, at least, act more daring toward each other in that environment, which could lead to love.

Because of the good writing there is internal consistency (mostly). But many of the stories end quite abruptly. The introduction is far too long and rambling, as if written for the author and not for the reader. The Endnotes give some extra
Natalie Shawver
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the best parts about love stories in my opinion is learning how they start - did the couple meet through friends? Online? In line at the grocery? It's the story everyone loves to tell and the one most people never get tired of hearing. Crack open Heart of the City and you'll fall in love with these nine short stories about real couples who met at various landmarks in New York City over the past 100 years. Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building, Central Park... the list goes on a ...more
May 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
The worst part of this book was probably the rendering of Midwestern accents. Anytime someone was from the Midwest they sounded like a cross between characters in Fargo and Sarah Palin. Unfortunately the writing was often a little lackluster. Stories about people meeting in public places in New York should be compelling. They mostly weren't. My favorite part of the book was the section of the epilogue that caught up with two of the people who are now aged (and adorable) academics. One of them us ...more
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
The stories are introduced as a study looking at how public places foster connections between people and the aspects that draw people together. The author then collected and put together stories of people meeting in public spaces around New York leading to marriage. The stories are more retelling from the actual people than story but a really interesting idea.
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
A cute book with true stories of strangers finding love in NYC, but like all love stories, some are better than others. There was at least one story that I didn't even know why it was included because I wouldn't really call it a love story. I mean this lackluster guy ran away right before the wedding, but came back years later and the woman was all like "it's okay." Whereas, Joey--a homeless woman who ran away from home and was arrested for vagrancy--falling in love with a sailor was my favorite ...more
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Sweet stories and an interesting new way to look at one of the most looked-at, talked-about cities in the world. Next time I visit New York, I'll be keeping my eyes open for all those almost-sparked connections in the public spaces around me.
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
You must realize how excited I was when I saw this book. I'm surprised I didn't hear more about it before it came out. But as soon as I saw it I realized it would be the perfect book to review for Valentine's Day! And every story in this book takes place in my favorite place ever!.... NYC!!

Now, I've veered far from those romantic ideals I had as a young girl and the "love stories" you find in a lot of fiction. I feel like, despite being in a very happy marriage, that I'm far too cynical to enjoy
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
A collection of true stories about couples who met and started on lifelong relationships in New York City.
As with any collection, I enjoyed all the stories but some were better than others. I liked all the people in the stories, but again, some more than others I loved the setting of New York, and the variety of locations where the couples met - Central Park, Grand Central Station, on the street near Carnegie Hall, on the subway, in Times Square, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in Washington
Feb 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was picked by my book club, though I was planning to read it anyway. So far, about half way through, I am thoroughly enjoying it.


I really enjoyed this book. The author, struck by the role of Washington Square Park in his own parents' unlikely pairing, sought out stories across the decades of couples who met at NY landmarks like Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum. The result is quirky and charming. I thought the premise was adorable, the stories were interesting, and t
Kasa Cotugno
If you love New York and can't get enough of reading about it, this book will fit into a definite slot. Taking inspiration from his parents' first meeting in Washington Square Park, Sabar has chosen nine locations in the City and has managed to track down couples who have met in each and gone on to have fulfilling lives together. The City plays a huge part in this book, and those sections dealing with its history and the trivia about the locations make for the most compelling reading. There is a ...more
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Ariel Sabar won the National Book Critics Circle Award for his debut book, My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for his Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq (2008). His second book, Heart of the City (2011), was called a "beguiling romp" (New York Times) and an "engaging, moving and lively read" (Toronto Star). His Kindle Single, The Outsider: The Life and Times of Roger Barker (2014), was a best-selling n ...more
More about Ariel Sabar...
“You could make mistakes when you lived together because you knew you'd wake up the next morning with another chance.” 12 likes
“She sees the image of God in human beings, he thought, even when they are not at their best.” 5 likes
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